5 takeaways from the series premiere of NOS4A2

Zachary Quinto as Charlie Manx - NOS4A2 _ Season 1, Episode 1 - Photo Credit: Zach Dilgard/AMC
Zachary Quinto as Charlie Manx - NOS4A2 _ Season 1, Episode 1 - Photo Credit: Zach Dilgard/AMC /

The highly-anticipated horror series, NOS4A2, has finally premiered on AMC and we’ve broken down the episode into the most important takeaways.

From the diabolical mind of Joe Hill (Stephen King’s son), AMC presents the highly-anticipated miniseries, NOS4A2, based on Hill’s book of the same name. I was impressed with the opening hour of the new horror series, particularly with the performance by newcomer Ashleigh Cummings. The show is creepy and campy, the trappings of an excellent summer series.

The first episode does a great job at crafting the world we’ll be inhabiting over the next nine hours. Strap in, avoid candy canes, and find out what the biggest premiere takeaways were to prepare you for next week’s episode!

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5. Vic has the strange ability to find lost things.

Vic McQueen is a New England townie from a low-income family who merely wants to pursue her dreams of becoming an artist and going to college so she can get out of Haverhill for good.

Her life begins to take a bizarre turn when she starts to locate lost things, first her parents’ credit card, then her dad’s broken watch. Vic doesn’t merely stumble upon the last place they were seen and find them either.

Instead, she begins to hear static and then succumb to a strange mental bridge that manifests in reality. She starts to see a bridge that was demolished years prior and then drives through it on her motorcycle. Inside the bridge, the location of the lost item will be spray-painted on the side. And the bridge is real, and a local man sees it appear out of thin air.

Ebon Moss-Bachrach as Chris McQueen, Ashleigh Cummings as Vic McQueen – NOS4A2 _ Season 1, Episode 3 – Photo Credit: Zach Dilgard/AMC /

4. Chris McQueen is not who he seems to be.

Initially, Chris McQueen seems like the best dad. He’s supportive of Vic, and he encourages her to pursue her dreams regardless of what her mother says. They have an established repertoire with nicknames and expressions. Vic is closer to her father than to her mother, who cleans houses for a living and expects Vic to do the same when she graduates high school.

But all is not as it seems. From the ominous camera linger over a glass of amber liquid to the bruising on the side of Linda’s face, the audience is allowed to catch on to the implication that Chris is an alcoholic, and physically abusive, early on in the episode. By the end of the premiere’s hour, Chris has abandoned his daughter and wife to go to a woman named Tiffany’s place. She’s in her twenties, and Linda implies he’s been cheating on her for years.

3. Charlie Manx uses children to stay young.

Poor Danny. He feels incredibly lonely and asks his mother if he can sleep with her, except he’s chosen a night where she is entertaining a male guest. Danny is told to go back to his room, but instead, he is lured outside to a Rolls Royce Wraith by a trail of Christmas goodies and the promise of presents. By the time he gets into the car, it’s too late for him to escape and Charlie Manx has him in his clutches.

Danny is helpless to watch as Manx’s henchman, Mr. Ives, murders his mom and her gentleman caller. Throughout our introduction to Vic’s world, we are shown scenes of Manx trying to reassure Danny he is taking him to the magical Christmasland. All the while, Danny grows increasingly sallow-skinned and weak, while Manx begins to grow younger.

2. Vic and Charlie share a psychic connection.

At the beginning of the episode, Vic hears static at one point and a high-pitched sound. Simultaneously, Charlie hears some of the same white noise coming through his radio. He is picking up on the same frequency Vic hears, or the two are crossing signals somehow.

Then, towards the end of the episode when Vic faints and sees visions of her family, we also see Charlie wake up as if he’s witnessed what Vic had. We don’t know precisely how these two will be connected just yet, but it is clear the first episode wanted to establish they will cross paths at some point.

JJ Smith as Maggie Leigh – NOS4A2 _ Season 1, Episode 4 – Photo Credit: Zach Dilgard/AMC /

1. Maggie will be lead to Vic to help find Danny.

I don’t fully understand who Maggie Leigh is yet, but I do know she has ties to someone on the police force and Danny. Maggie had been planning to walk Danny to literacy class when everything went down. Now she’s attempting to track him down, but the cops aren’t being much help. Instead, she turns to her enchanted bag of Scrabble tiles for answers.

Going by her interaction with her cop friend, Maggie has done this before and what she found out lead to the police solving a crime. This time, her tiles tell her about the Wraith – aka, Manx’s car – and to find “the brat.” Vic’s dad calls her brat all the time. This means Maggie will have to find Vic if she wants any hope of finding Danny. And we already know Vic can find lost people because she uses her gift to track down her father to his alleged mistress’s house.

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Odds & Ends

  • Did you catch the reference to Hill’s father, Stephen King? When Charlie was looking at the map, there was a spot called “Pennywise Forest.” Sounds terrifying.

New episodes of NOS4A2 air Sunday nights on AMC.